MT. VERNON — Three District 80 educators will be recognized with Those Who Excel awards at a state banquet Oct. 19.
They include: kindergarten teacher Denae Jones, community volunteer Wayne Pettit, and art teacher Amy Siefert.
Each year, Those Who Excel awards are given to the top educators in the state by the Illinois State Board of Education. The program is in its 39th year and there are over 180 educators being honored for 2013-2014.
“It’s a great honor for these three people and all three are very deserving,” said District 80 Superintendent Mike Green. “They’ve brought a lot to the district and we’re excited they will be recognized by ISBE.”
Award categories include: classroom teacher, school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, school board member and/or community volunteer, teams, and early career educator.
There are also three award levels with Excellence being the highest, followed by Merit and Recognition. The top awards at the banquet will be for Outstanding Early Career Educator and Illinois Teacher of the Year.
Pettit, who passed away recently, was recognized for Excellence as a community volunteer. He volunteered at the J.L. Buford Intermediate Center for many years, working with students and teachers on a variety of tasks, Green said.
Jones and Siefert received awards at the Recognition level. Jones teaches at the Primary Center and Siefert teaches at Casey Middle School.
Primary Center Principal Shannon Marler said Jones greatly deserves the recognition. Jones is currently in her fourth year of teaching at the center.
“I think she has a very exuberant personality that causes her to be a dynamic teacher in the classroom,” Marler said of Jones. “She has a very natural ability about her and she’s always willing to learn and ask questions and do what’s in the best interest of her students.”
Award candidates are nominated by local school district leaders and community members. Detailed nomination forms and letters of recommendation are then submitted to the state for each nominee.
After the nominations have come in, a committee of peers, organized through the ISBE, selects the award winners.
Green said all three names submitted by District 80 received awards this year. He said District 80 has been participating in the nomination process since around 1994.
The 39th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet will take place Oct. 19 in Normal.
A complete list of the 2013-2014 award recipients can be viewed at www.isbe.net/news/pdf/those-who-excel-list13-14.pdf.